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Onderdonk House hosts COVID-friendly St. Nicholas Day celebration in Ridgewood

Photo by Gabriele Holtermann

BY GABRIELE HOLTERMANN 

Celebrating a Dutch tradition, Onderdonk House in Ridgewood held its 40th St. Nicholas Day on Sunday, Dec. 6.

In years past, the event included live music, crafts, and games, and visitors, free to walk into the historical house to meet St. Nicholas, the patron saint of children and sailors. This year, due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Onderdonk House was forced to to reimagine its events, including St. Nicholas Day.

Photo by Gabriele Holtermann

Visitors had to purchase timed tickets via Eventbrite, which helped to limit the number of people who could meet and take a photo with St. Nicholas, who waited for them inside the house surrounded by Christmas decorations. Outside, guests joined in the singing Christmas carols and listened to a reading of “The Night Before Christmas” while enjoying cups of hot apple cider and cookies.

Photo by Gabriele Holtermann

Linda Monte, a member of the Onderdonk House team, was excited that they could bring the event to the community despite the pandemic.

“We feel it’s important to celebrate life and the season,” Monte said.

Steve Monte, president of Onderdonk House, explained how they came up with the timed ticket concept. 

“We looked at what other museums were doing and thought it was the best thing,” he said. “We may continue with this even after the pandemic.”

Photo by Gabriele Holtermann

Andreana Psarros, her husband Costas, and their daughter Maria were looking for outdoor festivities to enjoy as a family. Sunday marked the first time that they visited the Onderdonk House for the holiday event.

“Since there are limited things to do with COVID, this looked like a nice thing,” Psarros said.

Onderdonk House, which recently won the title of the best museum in Queens, is hosting “Onderdonk After Dark” every second Saturday of the month through March 2021. Tickets for this event can be purchased via Eventbrite for $5.

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